Green Minute News:
The Seer of Nandiveri Samsthanamatha has appealed to PM Narendra Modi to protect the flora and fauna of Kappatagudda hills from mining. Kappatagudda which is spread over 32,346 hectares in Gadag district of Karnataka state is a treasure trove of rare flora, fauna, and medicinal plants.
In his letter to the PM, Seer Shivakumar Swamiji states, “I submit here with utmost pain that several mining companies and stone quarrying firms have set their eyes on the mineral wealth of Kappatagudda hills and submitted fresh proposals for mining gold, iron, and other minerals besides extracting building stones. They have also sought diversion of forest land. These companies have absolutely no regard or respect for environment. It is reliably learnt that, ahead of elections, the state government is keen on awarding mining projects and is likely to approve them.”
The Seer adds, “If the state govt. approves any mining activity, it will have disastrous effect on the environment, wildlife, and bi diversity. All our sincere efforts of protecting water, soil and flora and fauna will go in vain. Due to afforestation in this area, it is now receiving good rains every year during the last six years.”
Kappatagudda is a rich biologically diverse area bestowed with rare medicinal and aromatic plant wealth.
A wealthy Bangara Halla (Golden Stream), running to about 30 kms length through Kappatagudda, is served by 13 tributary nalas. This golden stream has supported for ages the rare flora and fauna in the area.
The Nandiveri Samsthanamatha is at the foothills of the Kappatagudda. It was in 2003, Shivakumar Swamiji was appointed as seer for the Samsthanamatha. At that time, all water resources of this area like wells, Bangara halla, etc had gone almost dry. The groundwater level had declined too and water was not available even up to 500 feet. In view of water scarcity coupled with continuous denudation of the forest and mining of the rich natural and mineral resources, the lush green cover of the Kappatagudda had turned barren. This in turn had resulted in dwindling rainfall in this part of the district.
In 2003, the Seer pledged to rejuvenate and protect Kappatagudda area and so, formed ‘Kapatagiri Nandiverimath Seva Foundation (KNSF) with the help of a few like-minded people in this area. The Foundation jointly works with the Karnataka Forest Department and initiated an intense drive of reviving the hills with two-point mission – Soil and Water conservation along with afforestation.
Various water conservation works were taken up in consultation with experts and with the help of volunteers to recharge the groundwater and stop the water from flowing over the area. A large Percolation Pond, namely Bangara Kere (Golden Pond) was constructed on the upstream side of the area.
Such structures were created on all 13 tributaries of the mainstream of Bangara Halla. As many as 40 Check Dams and 2750 structures (check bunds) were created in the entire area.
Further, neem, Pongamia, tamarind, Gooseberry, Peepal, Banyan, etc were planted. In all 240,000 saplings were planted and protected.
Two decades of efforts along with comprehensive methods of water and soil conservation has created a lush green atmosphere across the Kappatagudda which is well supported by flowing and rich underground water. The entire area is now lush and verdant and providing food and shelter for a huge number of birds and animals.
“If the ecosystem is disturbed, I am sure it will affect the rainfall not only in this area but also distant parts to which it is connected. I therefore request for protection of flora and fauna in the eco-sensitive ‘Kappatagudda’ from mining,” the Seer appeals to the PM.